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Pint-sized star with pension plan

(ran GB edition)

Blake Michael Bryan roared at Sam Neill during a sandbox scene, but later, off-camera, he charmed Laura Dern by singing to her in her trailer.

"I'm a movie star!" Blake said proudly, more than once, during a recent interview.

He is indeed. The actor, who lives in Simi Valley (just north of Los Angeles), has a good supporting role as Charlie in Jurassic Park III, and he gets the screen all to himself at one point in the film. He also had a recurring role this season on CBS' The Young and the Restless.

He's a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists; he has a pension plan.

Blake is 4 years old.

"I'm 4{," he said, correcting his mother, Shelene.

Well, it's the first time I've seen a star bump up his age. All of Hollywood should be this secure.

Blake is a charmer. He instantly likes people, says what he thinks and doesn't like to sit still for too long. That's probably a good thing for a kid acting in a dinosaur movie.

In real life, he's the son of Shelene and Brice Bryan. She works full time as a mother and Blake's supporter in his career. Brice is a lawyer.

"My husband is totally supportive and very proud of his son," Shelene Bryan said.

In Jurassic Park III, Blake plays the son of Ellie Sattler, whom Dern reprises from the first Jurassic Park movie. Sattler is there long enough for paleontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill) to see that she's married now with a family. (Sorry about that, Alan.) Grant visits her home before going off with another couple to yet another dinosaur island.

Blake didn't have to act with the nasty creatures, but he did become concerned after the filming. He asked his parents whether dinosaurs still roam in California, and they assured him that the beasts are extinct.

It's not that Blake is easily scared. After all, he gets to play with toy dinosaurs early in Jurassic Park III and roar at Neill, a famous movie star, in a scene foreshadowing the terror to come. Later in the film, Blake takes over the screen as he talks to Neill's Dr. Grant on the phone.

"He's nice," Blake said about Neill.

Bryan said her son showed no apprehension about the audition process.

Director Joe Johnston interviewed the prospective young actors on a jungle set at Universal Studios.

"He said, "I'll be okay, Mommy!' " Bryan said, recalling the day of his callback. "He said, "I never auditioned in a jungle before.' "

Likewise, Blake had a blast at the Jurassic Park III wrap party at the Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport.

Blake has spent his short life in front of the camera, from the time he appeared in a diaper commercial in 1997 at age 1 to his recurring role as Noah Newman this season on The Young and the Restless.

The soap role became bigger than Shelene expected, as her son played the grandson of rich, scheming Victor Newman (played by Eric Braeden). Blake's parents recently took him off The Young and the Restless; he had been on the series for eight months.

Shelene Bryan noted that the show was a great experience for him.

Blake auditioned for the soap last October at CBS Television City in Hollywood. "The callback was on Halloween; he was so afraid he would miss it," she said.

But she took her son, in his Halloween costume, to CBS. "The casting director said, "We just loved that he came in as Buzz Lightyear,' " Bryan said.

Blake has appeared in national commercials for AT&T, Crayola Markers and Mattel.

During the NBA championship finals, Blake appeared in a McDonald's commercial with Laker star Kobe Bryant, who "signed a basketball for him," Bryan said.

Later, when reminded of the commercial, Blake grinned and sang the McDonald's jingle, "We love to see you smile." This star never stops being a kid, dinosaurs or no dinosaurs.

On a Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams commercial, Blake gets a rough, punk-rock-looking guy to smile by giving him a cracker. Bryan explained why her son is good enough for Jurassic Park and The Young and the Restless: "He listens. He takes directions well."

She also noted that he's good at putting the right emotions and inflection in his lines.

And Blake doesn't mind doing several takes of the same scene, which can prove monotonous for actors of any age. "Some kids will say, "I'm tired,' " Bryan said. "But Blake says, "I can do it again.' "

Blake's money from his career goes into a trust account, to which he will gain access when he becomes an adult. To reward him for doing a good job in his roles, his parents give him toys, but they insist that he share them with his friends.

"I want my child to know he's fortunate and not to be greedy with things," Bryan said.

Unfortunately, I goofed when I asked Blake if he would be a movie star when he grew up. What was I thinking! "I am a movie star!" Blake answered with that kind of confidence that's rare in Hollywood.

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